Super Mario Bros.

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +3

Content: -1

In one giant leap from video games Super Mario comes to the big screen. It begins with two of the most unlikely heros: 20-year-old Luigi (John Leguizamo) and his older brother Mario (Bob Hoskins). The two Brooklyn plumbers help a damsel in distress, Daisy (Samantha Mathis), a university student. She is in charge of an excavating team at a construction site where dinosaur fossils have been discovered. Daisy has a strange affinity for these fossils. Luigi and Mario offer to protect her from the real estate developer who is trying to sabotage the excavation project. While exploring the tunnel, the three are accidentally hurled into a parallel dimension ruled by the evil King Koopa (Dennis Hopper). There they are confronted with a wide range of monsters with tiny heads, robot-like soldiers, and globs of fungus. Daisy is abducted by Koopa's thugs because she holds the key to merging the two dimensions into one. Luigi and Mario perform heroic deeds with their plungers, wrenches and other trade tools to free Daisy and destroy Koopa. With its mind-boggling special effects and non-stop mayhem, Super Mario Bros will spellbind the younger set. Mario and Luigi are delightful, bumbling good guys whose sense of humor and adventure make the film bearable for those not fond of bizarre science fiction comedy.

This film delves into the occult and intimates that humans evolved from dinosaurs, an unproven scientific theory. Daisy is hatched from a dinosaur egg left on the doorstep of a Catholic convent. The evil King Koopa has the power to change people into mindless lizard-like monsters in his de-evolution chambers. He even turned the former ruler of the parallel dimension into a glob of fungus. The action is nonstop with cartoon-like violence. While many fall over when zapped by laser guns, no blood or gore is shown. Scary falls, chases and monsters are too intense for small children. All the female characters dress in suggestive tight clothes with low necklines. Mario dancing suggestively with Big Bertha is treated comically. Offensive language is limited to several crudities. We feel that this film is much too intense for anyone who has difficulty separating fantasy from reality, especially children. It might cause nightmares, or fears about being transformed into a non-human form.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Buena Vista Distribution, 3900 W. Alameda Ave., Burbank, CA 91521

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (6) times - Mild 3; Moderate 3

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Exclamatory - Few times

Violence: Many times - Moderate and severe (intense cartoon style, no bloody gore; lizard-like monsters frighten humans; evil king de-evolves humans into prehistoric monsters; characters hurled into dark tunnel; glob of fungus depicted as former person; chases; scary special effects)

Sex: None

Nudity: Near nudity (women wear low-cut, tight fitting dresses)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Once - Dance scene

Drugs: None

Other: Evil king de-evolves humans; princess hatched from dinosaur egg; magic rock has power to merge universes

Running Time:
Intended Audience:

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.